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sci-fi-guy

Elijah’s no sci-fi guy

by Donald Ingram

“Elijah was a human being, even as we are.” James 5:17 — In other words, Elijah was a regular guy, not a sci-fi guy.

Elijah was afraid, he was real, his God is real, and he built up the good.

He was afraid

supermanElijah got hungry, was afraid for his life, and needed reassurance from time to time that God really had a mission for him.

The sci-fi guy, however, rarely gets hungry, always has some powerful weapon or smarts that protects him from the ever-present enemy, and often has revenge as his motive for life. But, like all Hollywood characters, he rarely has to worry about meeting a work schedule, finding food to eat, pooping, or being too tired or ill to put on a supreme performance of dedicated good or evil.

And he is so brave: Even the evil does not shy away from giving his life to make sure the good guy dies.

Image result for cerebral speechAnd he practices scholarly etiquette:  He wouldn’t dream of interrupting another sci-fi-guy’s cerebral speech about why he is about to carry out some evil plan.

He was real

speakamericanNo matter how hard they try not to, sci-fi progenitors must always make their characters in some facsimile of reality as we know it.  They switch around horns, eyes, appendages, etc., but the end result is some mishmash of something we’ve seen in nature.  And fortunately for us, they speak American English.

raygunThe sci-fi villain also looks pretty much human in his motives: he wants power, money, the death of his opponents, and sex.  He is willing to kill, lie, steal and rape.  Like ordinary people.  He trusts in his sci-fi gear: ray guns, cloaking, deception, guns, mind-control, time control, etc, etc.

informationhebrewarabicElijah, on the other hand, looks human because he is human. No mishmash of someone’s imagination. Just a regular guy who scholars argue about whether he spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, or what.

His God is real

Our sci-fi hero always has some sci-fi advanced technique on his side.  Not unlike Elijah’s God, but not real the way God is.

Elijah had God as his not-so-secret weapon, but God, through Elijah, was not trying to destroy people, He was trying to save them.

Now when God’s patience had worn out, after years when His miraculous signs and providence were ignored and despised, after His warnings were ignored, He brought people to the final judgment.  We can guess that the prophets of Baal and the soldiers sent to get Elijah were given proper due for their faith, or lack thereof.

mayforcewithyouStar Wars’ “May the Force be with you” comes close to a sci-fi introduction of God into the story. And sci-fi hero guys occasionally will mention a spiritual attribute that drives them, but their creators are very careful to not use the word “God,” or if so, only in the sense of an arcane human habit of old.

Elijah’s foes seemed well aware of the reality of God, but had the irrational hope that their idol gods who let them do evil things (even commanded them to do evil things, like sacrificing their children and having sex with prostitutes) were more powerful.

He was into building up

Just one last observation: there seems to be an endless supply of bullets, bombs, and other means of destruction, and there seems to be an endless supply of targets. McGyver excepted, it seems to be a Hollywood No-No to show anyone building things: ain’t no excitement in that – got to tear things down, now that’s what the box office is all about.

teardownbuildupIn much the same way as God sent Jeremiah (1:10) “to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant,” so Elijah’s messages had a double purpose of turning away from evil and turning toward good. He called on people to turn away from witchcraft, burning babies, whoring. He called them to turn back to the one true God, to parenting, and to faithful marriage.

Like James says, Elijah was just a regular guy. I would add that this regular guy had his fears, was real, trusted in a real God, and wanted to build people up.

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3 Responses to Elijah’s no sci-fi guy

  1. Gary Dougherty May 9, 2017 at 1:45 PM #

    Great – thanks for helping me to open my heart wider to REALity and simple truth – !! As you assumed – we Christians find ourselves disillusioned by the Sci-Fi “part” of Christianity – prosperity – perfect health – etc ..

    I recently had a person ask me “how are you doing?” I said “pretty good” .. he said “Pretty good? are you not a child of the KIng?”

    Another person … told me just the other day .. the way to know you are doing “right” is that you have JOY (a Pastor, a student of the word)!!! I am thankful for my “southern manners” ..

    As you can believe, this article resonated with me — hey, I am real – like Elijah!!!

    Move over, Sci-Fi world – I AM a child of the king, but sometimes – in my humanity … I forget … I am hungry .. or am overwhelmed … until I go AGAIN to the Precious Blood – and “be still and know God” ..

    Thanks again for such a timely article .. actually – QUITE REAL Dr. bro!!!!

    • Dave Parks May 9, 2017 at 4:04 PM #

      Hey Gary!

      Thanks for this.

      I remember spreading this kind of “Happy Every Day” myth myself. I think my line back then went like this:

      “How’s it goin’?’
      “Not too bad under the circumstances.”
      “The circumstances? Whatcha doin’ under there, Brother?!”

      It took me quite a while to admit that hurts are still real.

  2. Nancy (Snyder) Ragatz May 15, 2017 at 9:31 PM #

    Great article and comparison.

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